Friday, March 12, 2010

The Bookomat



This article is from Paperback Quarterly, Volume 2, Number 2 (Summer 1979).

11 comments:

James Reasoner said...

I bought Earl Derr Biggers' Charlie Chan novel THE BLACK CAMEL and an early Nick Carter, HANOI, out of a machine similar to this in a hotel in Austin in the mid-Sixties. That's the only paperback vending machine I've ever seen.

Bill Crider said...

I've never seen one at all. I have a copy of HANOI, though.

Fred Blosser said...

Hey, I just saw one at MacDonalds. Wait, no, sorry, that's a DVD RedBox.

Didn't Walt Sheldon also write some Gold Medals in the '60s?

I think HANOI was one of the Nick Carters that I passed around to other appreciative 15 year old males in my high school homeroom.

Bill Crider said...

Sheldon wrote some good GM titles, with colors in them, like the Travis McGee books. Some came out in the '60s, some in the '70s. And didn't he write an Ellery Queen novel?

Deb said...

Fred already said what I came here to say: It looks exactly like the DVD rental units that greet one in the entrance area of Walmart.

James Reasoner said...

HANOI was the first Nick Carter novel I ever read. I was about the same age Fred was when I read it. Opened my eyes, that's for sure. It's one of the books actually written by Valerie Moolman, who was working as an editor for Lyle Kenyon Engel when she started writing some of the Nick Carters. I think her first one was SAIGON, which she took over in mid-manuscript when Engel fired Mike Avallone.

Fred Blosser said...

My bad! Now that James mentiions it, SAIGON was the Killmaster title I was thinking of, not HANOI.

Todd Mason said...

Bill, as you've no doubt checked for yourself, Sheldon indeed did a Lancer "Queen" novel:

Guess Who's Coming to Kill You? Lancer, 1968. (ghostwritten by Walt Sheldon)

--and it's a reminder of how well Dannay (and Lee?) chose their ghosts, most excellent to brilliant crime-fiction writers (Avram Davidson, Deming, Hoch, Lesser/Marlowe, Brewer) or at least writers who had done some other impressive CF while mostly specializing elsewise (Sturgeon, Jack Vance...).

The Redbox dvd rental/vending machines are, iirc, the third most popular distributor of dvds, after the likely suspects (Blockbuster and Netflix). And, of course, Japan certainly has run with this method of distribution for all sorts of things...

Bill Crider said...

Todd, I did check. I thought he'd done one, but I couldn't remember which one it was. I don't think I have that one.

Scott Parker said...

Can't help but point out the similarity of the Bookomat to both the iBook store from Apple and that website (whose name I can't remember right now). They both have a display of book covers like this Bookomat. Also makes you think that, regardless of the distribution method, great books cover will always survive.

dick adler said...

I bought several books from machines like these in New York City in the 1950s. Then I decided to become a reviewer, and got them for free